CALL TO ORDER
The regular meeting of the Hickory Hills City Council was called to order by Mayor Mike Howley on Thursday, April 9, 2020 at 7:30 p.m. on a conference call. Clerk Catizone was present in the council chambers recording meeting.
PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE
Mayor Howley lead the pledge of allegiance.
Upon roll call, the following were present:
- Mayor, M. Howley
Aldermen, D. Ferrero
J. Stachnik (7:44 pm)
- City Clerk, D. Catizone
- City Attorney, V. Cainkar
- City Engineer, M. Spolar
- City Treasurer, A. Vodicka
- Police Chief, C. Hobart
- Public Works Director, S. Lehr
- Building Commissioner, J. Moirano
There being a quorum present, the meeting was called to order.
OPEN TO THE PUBLIC
Mayor Howley noted no comments/questions were received from the public through email or telephone.
JOURNAL OF PROCEEDINGS
Alderman Waight moved to approve the minutes of the regularly scheduled meeting of March 12, 2020 as printed subject to deletions or corrections. Alderman Purtill second. Roll call: Aldermen Ferrero, Fonte, Kman, McHugh, Purtill, Stachnik, Waight aye. Alderman Zimmerman pass. So approved.
REPORTS OF CITY OFFICIALS
Mayor Howley expressed his thanks to the residents who are certainly resilient and are responding with the current “stay at home order” that the Governor issued. He stated a lot has changed since the Council’s last meeting with every passing day. He extended his sympathies to all the families who have lost family members to the Covid-19 virus. He thanked all the men and women in the health field that are on the front lines.
Mayor Howley thanked all of the City employees during this crisis. He noted it has been a pleasure working with the Department Heads over the last couple of weeks.
Mayor Howley read a proclamation sponsored by PLOWS proclaiming May, 2020 as Older American Month.
Mayor Howley led a discussion on placing a safety partitions on the front counters of the Clerk’s Office and Building Department. Consensus was to investigate materials that would work. Alderman McHugh and Commissioner Moirano will look into this and report back to the Council.
Lastly, Mayor Howley noted that Walter Lis, our website coordinator has really been working on getting the updates on our website along with designing the City Facebook page. Clerk Catizone recommended an increase in his stipend. Alderman McHugh moved to approve a $100.00 increase to his current stipend. Alderman Ferrero second. Treasurer Vodicka noted this should not be an issue as all departments are at budget or below. Roll call: Aldermen Ferrero, Fonte, Kman, McHugh, Purtill, Stachnik, Waight, Zimmerman aye. So approved.
Clerk Catizone reported the Clerk’s Office continues to be closed to the public until April 30, 2020. Until then, the office is available via phone and email during normal business hours. A schedule was distributed to employees until the end of April, limiting 2 essential employees in the office at all times, while the other’s work remotely.
They are conducting normal duties in the Clerk’s Office, such as processing water bill payments, business license requests and banking, and also fielding questions from residents and businesses. Clerk Catizone also note that her office is making wellness check phone calls to senior residents. She would also like to mention before the “stay at home” mandate, the office was not set up to work remotely. She thanked the IT consultants, Mark Daniels and Jerry Cole, for having them up and running in one day.
Treasurer Vodicka reported the refuse rate will increase on June 1, 2020 to $27.34 a quarter and $26.34 a quarter for seniors. This is an $0.82 increase per quarter. He is recommending the city absorb this increase for the months of June, July and August 2020 and revisit at that point. Mayor Howley noted he supports this recommendation. Alderman Kman moved to approve the city absorbing the $0.82 refuse rate for the months of June, July and August 2020. Alderman Stachnik second. Roll call: Aldermen Ferrero, Fonte, Kman, McHugh, Purtill, Stachnik, Waight, Zimmerman aye. So approved.
Treasurer Vodicka noted the Hickory Hills Blood Drive will be held at the Community Center on April 19, 2020 from 8:00 a.m. until 2:00 p.m. by appointment only. Due to Covid-19 no walk-in will be allowed. Mrs. Alicia Vodicka, Hickory Hills Blood Drive Coordinator has been working closely with Vitalant to make sure all safety procedures are followed.
Attorney Cainkar had no report but mentioned there are sixty-one (61) confirmed Covid-19 cases in Burbank and ten (10) new cases reported today with three (3) deaths. He said this really brings this home.
Mr. Spolar reported he has met with representatives from the Ricky Rockets project and they are reviewing the plans.
Alderman Waight inquired if the Roberts Road project went out for bid. Ms. Lehr stated the bid letting of March 18, 2020 was cancelled.
They are scheduled to begin this project in late June or July. She will keep the Council informed of any future updates.
Alderman Stachnik moved to approve the bills payable for the second half of March 2020 in the amount of $338,264.24. Alderman Waight second. Roll call: Aldermen Ferrero, Fonte, Kman, McHugh, Purtill, Stachnik, Waight, Zimmerman aye. So approved.
Alderman Kman moved to approve the bills payable for the first half of April, 2020 in the amount of $300,030.22. Alderman Ferrero second. Roll call: Aldermen Ferrero, Fonte, Kman, McHugh, Purtill, Stachnik, Waight, Zimmerman aye. So approved.
Alderman Kman reported he has received positive feedback on the City’s website updates, Facebook updates and the personal pictures posted.
Chief Hobart gave an update on his departments’ changes with the regards to Covid-19. His officers are limiting contact by taking some police reports over the telephone. The Department is on the look-out for PPE (personal protection equipment). So far they have been successful and are good for the moment. He noted things are going fine.
Ms. Lehr reported Public Works has placed 50% of the crew off site this week and next, as our biggest hurdle is keeping staff healthy so they can continually supply utilities to the City. While off-site, the crew has been assigned safety training. She is also requiring everyone to take their temperature before starting work with the supplied thermometers each employee was issued.
They continue to wipe down the Public Works facility, provide gloves, cleaning supplies and information for each employee.
Ms. Lehr noted the water main on 97th Place is moving forward. The contractor is moving equipment and materials to the site and excavation should begin next week.
Ms. Lehr announced the tree planting contractor should be in the city next week Thursday, weather permitting. They will be planting fifty (50) plus trees in parkways for combined planting of the removal/replacement program and the City’s tree canopy program. Chief Hobart has enthusiastically requested some trees to be planted at the Police Department so they are adding to the tree canopy on the north side of the police facility this year.
Alderman Zimmerman added he would like to thank the Mayor for the daily email updates. Alderman Zimmerman also mentioned the Hickory Hills Presbyterian Church has set up a mini food pantry outside in front of the church. These items are for all who are in need.
Alderman McHugh thanked Building Commissioner Moirano and Deputy Building Commissioner Marilyn Gabrysiak for all their work with keeping the Building Department open during this Covid-19 crisis. They are closed to the public but still completing inspections and moving forward with permits.
Alderman McHugh reported the Community Center and Parkview Apartments are doing well. The Community Center is closed but they are checking messages.
Purtill/Laws & Ordinances
Alderman Purtill reported he is in receipt of two business certificate applications from: 1) Roadmaster Towing, located at 9525 S. 79th Avenue, Unit 201E. and 2) Black Star Trucking located at 9525 S. 79th Avenue. These are both dispatch offices. Commissioner Moirano voiced his concern over parking at this strip mall. No objections were noted.
Fonte/Health & Environmental Control
No report submitted.
Ferrero/Community Affairs/Youth Advisory
Alderman Ferrero reported she has some concerns regarding the status of the Street Fair.
Mayor Howley noted currently the City has cancelled the Arbor Day on May 2nd and would like to hold off on the Street Fair.
Clerk Catizone reported the Street Fair this year has 6 crafters and 0 food vendors as of today.
Waight/Chamber Business Development
No report submitted.
Alderman Ferrero moved to adjourn the meeting until the next regular or specially called meeting. Alderman Waight second. Roll call: Aldermen Ferrero, Fonte, Kman, McHugh, Purtill, Stachnik, Waight, Zimmerman aye. So approved.
Meeting adjourned at 8:36 p.m.